Safety Tips for Sharing the Road with Motorcycles
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, an important reminder to both motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers to take the precautions needed to keep everyone safe. Motorcycle accidents are often severe, mainly due to the fact that there is nothing that protects the riders on the bike from the force of impact when they are hit by another vehicle.
This is why it is critical for all motorists to remember that they are sharing the road with many different types of vehicles, including motorcycles. Many of the motorcycle crashes that have taken place could have been avoided if a vehicle driver had paid attention to the road around them and realized they were driving in the same area as a motorcycle.
The following are some recommended tips for drivers to keep in mind in order to avoid being responsible for the horrific injuries of a motorcyclist because they caused a crash.
Make Sure to Always Check the Blind Spots in Your Vehicle
Every vehicle has blind spots. It is important whenever a vehicle driver is going to make a turn or change lanes on a road that they double check their vehicle blind spots to make sure that there are no motorcycles traveling where they are getting ready to move their vehicle. Because motorcycles are small, it is too easy for a vehicle driver to miss their presence on the road, especially if windows are closed and the radio is on.
Keep a Safe Distance Between Your Vehicle and the Motorcycle
It can be hard for a vehicle driver to judge the speed that a motorcycle is going. Not only does their size contribute to this difficulty, but many motorcyclists slow their bike down by downshifting instead of hitting the brakes. This means there are no brake lights to signal the slowdown to the driver behind them. This is why it is critical for all drivers to maintain a safe distance when following a motorcycle.
Watch for Signals the Motorcyclist May Give
It is always important for drivers to pay attention to signals another vehicle may give, but this is especially true for motorcycles. It is also not uncommon for a motorcycle to include hand signals when they are driving as an extra precaution.
Do Not Try to Push a Motorcyclist Out of a Lane
Unlike other types of vehicles, which take up the entire lane, a motorcycle only takes up a small portion. Unfortunately, this often leads to other drivers thinking they can just squeeze into the lane right next to the motorcycle. This often has serious consequences for the motorcyclist and can lead to a severe injury. Regardless of the size of the vehicle, every vehicle has the right to the full lane.
Motorcyclists Often Swerve Defensively
It is important for vehicle drivers to pay attention to how the motorcycle is moving. One common defensive maneuver for motorcyclists is swerving. They will often do this to avoid debris on the road, potholes, or other obstacles that could cause them to crash. This is just one more reason why it is crucial to never crowd the space the motorcycle is traveling in.
Contact a Texas Personal Injury Attorney for Legal Assistance
Unfortunately, not all drivers heed these safety tips, and the result is terrible motorcycle accidents that leave riders with serious to catastrophic injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, contact a New Braunfels motorcycle accident attorney for help. Call The Bettersworth Law Firm at 830-606-0404 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options.